Tributes paid to centenarian doyen of Portuguese cinema

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Portugal on Thursday paid tribute to the doyen of the country s cinema, award-winning director Manoel Oliveira, as he prepared to celebrate his 100th birthday.

The famed filmmaker is hard at work on his 46th feature-length film.

In May he was awarded the coveted Palme d Or at Cannes for his life-long contribution to cinema and he is also due to be honored in January by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Gilles Jacob, Cannes film festival president, said Oliveira was a legend and a mystery who throughout his career had shown an exemplary moral rigor, modesty and sense of humor.

Portuguese actor and director Maria de Meideiros described him as a genius who represented the creative freedom of cinema.

Another actor, Luis Miguel Cintra, a veteran of some 17 Oliveira films, added: He never makes any concessions when he works and he only does what he believes in and there is the secret of art: not to yield to convention.

Even Portugal s Catholic Church released a statement hailing the great human and artistic meaning of his work.

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva will on Saturday also present Oliveira with the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator, one of Portugal s highest honors.

Oliveira, who was actually born on December 11, marks his birth in line with his official registration the following day. -AFP

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